American Law (Law Series Book 2)

By: Camille Taylor

Prologue





May 2011

The Pentagon, Virginia, USA



Secretary of Defense Walter Mann sat at his desk in his private office at the Pentagon, long after midnight. The other employees had long since gone home. He was completely alone, the cleaners having come and gone hours ago. The security guards never patrolled this area of the building, since the information kept here was highly classified. Silence surrounded him except for the gentle hum of his computer and the tapping of the keys as he typed.

He removed his Ralph Lauren glasses and blinked, his tired eyes stinging. He pinched the bridge of his nose. He’d been in the military for the past forty years and had earned his high position within the government through hard work and dedication. He had started at the bottom and proved himself every step of the way.

He had made his way up the ladder fast, leap frogging over other candidates, determined to make something out of his life. He had taken all the difficult jobs that would set him out in a crowd, preparing himself for greatness from the start. Now, he was the man at the Pentagon who directly reported to the White House.

He had denied himself a lot of opportunities in life to get where he was. He had never married, never had children. Some might have considered his life bleak, empty, but he considered it to be quite full and important. A lot of people knew who he was and revered him. Young, green soldiers looked to him as a role model, a man they would want to be when they reached his age. He had given his country all he had; it meant everything to him and he would protect it at all costs.

He had joined the military at the first possible instance once he became of legal age and never had any doubts, not once looking back or regretting any decision, never wishing things had gone differently.

He stared at his flat computer screen as he imputed the details of the file. The bright light irritated his eyes but he had to get the job over and done with. He ignored the harsh glare and swallowed the last of his coffee that had since gone cold. He had never been a tech person, but he had learned all about computers and technology purposely so he could understand his juniors when they spoke. He refused to let anyone talk down to him.

He liked to know what and how things were going on in his house, and the Pentagon was his house. There was no mistake about that. Nothing went on that he didn’t know about. He had even gone as far as installing an invisible key stoke logger that recorded everyone’s daily activities. He didn’t see it as spying, more like a worried father checking up on a wayward teenage daughter, keeping her safe within his home.

He knew others would not see it that way and would cry about their civil rights or some such bullshit, and they would be right. Which was why he was the only one who knew about it. There were a lot of things that the employees of DoD didn’t know about and that was the way he liked it—much like the public didn’t know half of the things their government had gotten involved in. Ignorance was bliss, as they say.

It had been quite some time since he had done this type of data entry and would usually leave it for his assistant to do but the file’s contents were sensitive. No one else was allowed to see what went into the folder marked ‘Sundown.’ It was for his eyes only. Well, his and the President of the United States, along with the National Security Advisor, and a few others high up within the White House, those who often sat in on the discussions in the Oval Office.

Sundown had taken months to research and implement and was currently the foremost security protocol for the United States. The ideas had already become law and regulation in most of the country’s fifty states.

He continued to enter the information. This was no trial run; the future of the country sat before him, and must be kept away from prying eyes and those who would use the contents of the file against them. The information included contingency plans for events such as acts of terrorism and Armageddon.

He finalized the file, entering the data in numerical format, then closed it, adding the security protection to the folder and saving it to the Pentagon’s central mainframe. He buried it deep beneath the budgets and fire evacuation forms where it would be safe. His job was to protect the information in the file with his life. There was no other option. If someone stole the contents of Sundown and sold it, or used the data for their own means, the effects could be catastrophic. The country would be defenseless against attack.

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